The Silver Street site has had many different incarnations over the years, from a canning factory in Victorian times to a car repair garage until 2016. The site lies behind the building of Colwall Community Church on Walwyn Road and is surrounded by residential properties and the village doctor’s surgery. Colwall Community Church were given the opportunity to the purchase the site in 2017 when the owners of the garage retired. It seemed a God given opportunity to save this site in the heart of the village for the use of the community and the church, as the obvious alternative was that it would be sold for housing. So after a mammoth and miraculous effort on the part of the church community, supported by members of the wider village community, the church raised the money to purchase the site.
When we purchased the site, we knew that saving it for the community and the church was the right thing to do, but we also knew that was only step one in a long journey to make full use of the site. A steering group was formed to, well, steer the vision. We knew that raising the money for a new building on the site was going to be medium-term venture. We also had to work out exactly how to develop the site to meet the differing needs of playgroup provision, youth provision, space for small groups to meet, the ability to provide refreshments, toilets, a friendly reception space, maybe a small garden space for people to find peace in, etc. All whilst staying within the constraints of the site area, planning recommendations, a realistic budget and seeking, as best we can, to be good neighbours – no easy task!
In 2020 we also purchased Laboratory Cottage to provide a continuous piece of land from the front of the church on the main road to the back of the Silver Street site.
These buildings provide a significant resource to support future plans. We are working with other local groups especially CYP to help develop a vision and strategy that will help support the needs of the community into the future.